NetClarity-BHCHP Network Access Control Case Study

NetClarity-BHCHP Network Access Control Case Study

October 16th, 2013

Continuing with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we wanted to share a recent case study from one of our security partners, NetClarity, involving Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

NetClarity offers plug-‘n-play Network Access Control solutions to businesses in all industries. Their Network Access Control solutions are the fastest to deploy, easiest to use and do not require any changes to existing network infrastructure in order to work correctly.

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) is a large nonprofit healthcare facility in Boston. BHCHP has more than 80 sites in the Boston area and offers a wide range of health services to indigent patients. BHCHP’s funding comes primarily through Medicaid reimbursements with the remainder being a mix of federal and state grants and philanthropy. The organization serves more than 12,000 homeless men, women and children each year.

BHCHP employs approximately 300 people. Its main location in Boston, Massachusetts houses a 104-bed 24/7 medical respite facility, a walk-in clinic, a pharmacy, a dental clinic and administrative offices. Since there is continuous traffic of workers and patients coming in and out if the building, it is crucial for both security and compliance purposes that network access to sensitive resources is kept under control. To solve this issue and ensure only the appropriate devices are accessing the network, Lee Cowgill, BHCHP’s Technology Infrastructure Manager, began the search for a network access control solution. Lee, who has been with the program for almost 14 years, helped build the network infrastructure of this particular location when they moved into this building 4 years ago. Although BHCHP as a whole grew by 50% in staff, Lee’s IT resources stayed the same – which meant he was continuously having to innovate to do more with less, a common theme amongst IT professionals.

Aside from needing solutions that do not exhaust all valuable IT resources and time, nonprofits must also find solutions that are priced within their limited budgets. When evaluating solutions, Lee considered other wireless and wired infrastructure companies that offered access control. However, each of the other solutions he looked into required a forklift overhaul of the network infrastructure – a task Lee did not want to undertake due to the time and estimated $250,000 it would take to replace all of the existing technologies.

Lee needed a Network Access Control solution that was simple to deploy and maintain, did not require any infrastructure changes and simply did what he needed it to do; that is, limit access to authorized devices to his corporate network. Lee ultimately selected NetClarity’s Network Access Control solution to monitor approximately 1000 trusted assets on his corporate network.

The deployment of NetClarity’s Network Access Control solution was done in a matter of hours: “Deployment and installation were absolutely painless. I heard many horror stories about implementing a NAC solution—but that couldn’t be farther from the truth with NetClarity’s NAC.”

Lee also mentioned how seamless NetClarity’s Network Access Control solution has been with his network. After building a trust list of the corporate-owned devices, he has set all rogue and untrusted devices to be blocked automatically from his network, which has been a true benefit in assisting with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) dilemma that is growing. “Rogue employee devices have shown up on the untrusted asset list and are automatically blocked. This helps us enforce the policies we have put in place.”

Another benefit of NetClarity’s solution for BHCHP was that it assisted in an audit on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security policy surrounding “Meaningful Use.” This policy outlines specific requirements or rules that must be met around controlling access to sensitive client health information through the implementation of appropriate technical capabilities. Lee states that having a Network Access Control solution in place has been helpful in proving the BHCHP was enforcing the stringent polices they put in place around access control.

Overall, Lee is “thrilled with this product.” NetClarity’s Network Access Control solution is the plug-’n-play model he has been searching for in order to have full control over who and what is accessing the network. The fully automated and independent blocking ability has secured the network without agents or the need to interfere with existing network equipment. In other words, the BHCHP saved IT time and resources but improved the overall security posture of the network. According to Lee: “this is what access control is supposed to be like.”

Lantana can assist you with your security needs and recommend a network access control product that works best for your company and network infrastructure.

3 Comments
  1. Lindsay Strong

    VNC allows you to access and control your desktop applications wherever you are in the world, whenever you need to. VNC has a widespread user base, from individuals to the world’s largest multi-national companies, utilizing the technology for a range of applications.

  2. Zachary V. Butler

    Users may share access over a common network infrastructure. Since most users do not use their full connection capacity all of the time, this aggregation strategy (known as contended service ) usually works well and users can burst to their full data rate at least for brief periods. However, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and high-quality streaming video can require high data-rates for extended periods, which violates these assumptions and can cause a service to become oversubscribed, resulting in congestion and poor performance. The TCP protocol includes flow-control mechanisms that automatically throttle back on the bandwidth being used during periods of network congestion . This is fair in the sense that all users that experience congestion receive less bandwidth, but it can be frustrating for customers and a major problem for ISPs. In some cases the amount of bandwidth actually available may fall below the threshold required to support a particular service such as video conferencing or streaming live video–effectively making the service unavailable.

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